By Islam El Shazly
What started out as just a nostalgic post about the beauty of Egypt and the sights that are for the most part gone from our lives – some buried under the waters of Lake Nasser and some abroad! – has turned into musings about what could have been and what could be.
The fact is, these amazing, almost magical, stills of a time gone by awakened a sense of belonging and a need for conservation of what is left of our national treasures and heritage, whether be it architectural in nature, archaic, modern, or just environmental and natural. And we have a significant amount of all of them.
With all the political turmoil in Egypt one thing that can completely slip through the cracks is conservation, and unfortunately it has in some places in the country; I have personally seen prime farming lands in the Delta being attacked by building trolls in a frenzy t erode as much of the plots they had as possible in order to build ugly concrete structures with little to no regard for the environment or planning laws and regulations. There was no enforcement and a sense of lawlessness about the whole affair.
But we can’t lose sight of what defines our great nation: our heritage, our symbols, the things that we should preserve for our children and our children’s children, and generations to come. We cannot fail them.
There’s an Egyptian proverb that literally translates to: Those who forget their past get lost, and that very much applies to Egypt, now more than ever. However, the opposite can be argued, the same chaos that brought out the trolls also brought out their nemesis, the conservationists. So really, all is well that ends well.
Tags: Al-Mu'izz, Alexandria, Aswan, Brooklyn Museum, Cairo, Conservation, Egypt, Featured, Heritage, Lantern Slides, Mashrabeya, Mohamed Ali, Mokattam